Pickup trucks are ideal work companions, with their power and dependability making them suitable for the toughest of jobs. Throughout their almost three-decade existence, RAM trucks have proven time and time again that they are rugged, powerful, and well-built enough to take almost everything you throw at them.
History of RAM Trucks
The first generation of RAM pickup trucks was launched in 1981. Initially called the Dodge Ram, the full-size pickup was a continuation of Dodge’s D-series trucks and featured a Ram hood ornament that paid homage to Dodge vehicles that were produced between 1932 and 1954. From the very beginning, RAM trucks came in two-wheel and four-wheel drive, and three different models were available: The 150 was a half-ton truck, the 250 was a three-quarter-ton truck, and the 350 was a one-ton truck. Also, just like modern pickup trucks, first-generation RAMs came in different cab configurations, such as standard, extended, and crew cab.
Even in the 1980s, RAM trucks had very powerful and modern engines with direct injection, as opposed to the indirect injection systems used by their competitors. Their initial engine lineup featured a 3.7-liter slant-six engine with up to 95 horsepower, a 5.2-liter V-8 with up to 140 horsepower, and a top-of-the-line 5.9-liter that produced up to 170 horsepower. As the late 1980s and early 1990s rolled on, the engines gradually became more powerful thanks to newly implemented technology, and Dodge adopted the 1500, 2500, and 3500 labels that we still have to this day.
As the years went by, RAM trucks gradually became not only more rugged and powerful but also better looking and more comfortable. After the fourth generation entered the market 10 years ago, the Dodge Ram trucks began using the simplified RAM moniker. The diversity of their features also increased throughout the years, allowing customers to choose from a multitude of configurations that increased the trucks’ payload capacity, off-road capability, interior comfort, handling, and more.
Now in their fifth generation, RAM trucks continue to set the standard when it comes to pure power and toughness, having enjoyed a solid reputation as one of America’s quintessential pickup trucks.
Although it’s the smallest truck in the RAM lineup, the RAM 1500 is a very powerful and dependable vehicle. There are four engine types available for this model. The most basic is a 3.6-liter V-6 with a power output of up to 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. Although this output is usually enough for most drivers, RAM also has options for those who feel they need a little more.
The next option is the 5.7-liter HEMI engine, which can produce up to 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque, while the diesel version is a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 with up to 260 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. As a testament to the brand’s ever-improving lineup, the 2021 RAM 1500 features its most powerful engine to date, a supercharged 6.2-liter gas-powered V-8 with a ridiculously high output of up to 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque.
The powerful engines, well-built chassis, and specialized features give the RAM 1500 exceptional performance metrics. The diesel engine boasts a towing capacity of 12,560 pounds, while the top gas-powered engine pushes the RAM to a speed of 60 mph from a standstill in only 4.5 seconds — a fantastic time for a vehicle this large and imposing, and one with completely different priorities.
If you want a pickup truck that’s agile enough to be driven on city streets but also more than capable of pulling heavy-duty loads, look no further than the RAM 2500. Just like its light-duty brother, the RAM 1500, this pickup truck’s main attributes are its solid build and extremely powerful engines. The result is a truck that’s powerful and dependable enough to serve as a trusty work companion on a daily basis.
The RAM 2500 has only one gas-powered engine type, but it should be more than enough. The 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 engine is larger and more powerful than the one in the RAM 1500, producing up to 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque with the help of a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission. Those looking for the higher torque output at lower rpm than a gas engine can produce can opt for the turbocharged Cummins diesel engine, with up to 370 horsepower and 850 pound-feet of torque.
Both engines offer enough power for heavy-duty towing, with the diesel having a maximum towing rating of 19,680 pounds and the gas-powered engine being able to tow up to 17,350 pounds.
If you regularly need to tow or haul exceptionally large payloads but also value interior comfort and maneuverability, the supremely powerful RAM 3500 is a perfect choice. Its main two engines have the same power output as those from the RAM 2500, but its superior size and modern technology offer a higher maximum towing rating. The diesel engine also has a high-output version, with 1,000 pound-feet of torque and a spectacular maximum tow rating of up to 35,000 pounds. These specs make the RAM 3500 one of the most powerful trucks available on the market today.
The RAM 3500’s payload is also very high, with the heavy-duty HEMI engine allowing it to haul up to 7,620 pounds in its bed. That means it could carry the equivalent of a RAM 1500 or 2500 on its back with relative ease. Despite clearly being a work truck first and foremost, the RAM 3500 also has plenty of style and comfort features, such as a premium sound system, an 8.4-inch entertainment touch screen, uniquely designed wheels, an elegant cabin with wood and leather inserts, and more.
There’s something magical about a vehicle that can do it all. Although RAMs started out as powerful and dependable work trucks, over the years they gradually became better looking, more agile, and more comfortable, with plenty of modern technology. However, the engineers at RAM know that no matter how stylish and versatile a truck is, it will ultimately be judged based on raw power, ruggedness, and the ability to haul and tow ridiculously heavy things.
Image via Flickr by truckhardware